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Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Darwyn Cooke

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This beautiful, oversized art book features the distinct, classic style of Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke.  Best known for the ambitious epic THE NEW FRONTIER, a six-issue miniseries bridging the gap between the end of the Golden Age of comics and the beginnings of the Silver Age, Cooke has also worked on BEFORE WATCHMEN, BATMAN: EGO, CATWOMAN with Ed Brub This beautiful, oversized art book features the distinct, classic style of Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke.  Best known for the ambitious epic THE NEW FRONTIER, a six-issue miniseries bridging the gap between the end of the Golden Age of comics and the beginnings of the Silver Age, Cooke has also worked on BEFORE WATCHMEN, BATMAN: EGO, CATWOMAN with Ed Brubaker, as well as Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Men In Black: The Series.


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This beautiful, oversized art book features the distinct, classic style of Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke.  Best known for the ambitious epic THE NEW FRONTIER, a six-issue miniseries bridging the gap between the end of the Golden Age of comics and the beginnings of the Silver Age, Cooke has also worked on BEFORE WATCHMEN, BATMAN: EGO, CATWOMAN with Ed Brub This beautiful, oversized art book features the distinct, classic style of Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke.  Best known for the ambitious epic THE NEW FRONTIER, a six-issue miniseries bridging the gap between the end of the Golden Age of comics and the beginnings of the Silver Age, Cooke has also worked on BEFORE WATCHMEN, BATMAN: EGO, CATWOMAN with Ed Brubaker, as well as Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Men In Black: The Series.

30 review for Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Darwyn Cooke

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    A beautifully presented coffee table book dedicated to the recently deceased cartoonist Darwyn Cooke. This collection presents all of Cooke's DC Comics work that isn't readily available in trade format. For both completists and interested newcomers to his work alike, this simply is a no-brainer. What you get here is more than worth it: not only does it contain a plethora of stories on famous DC characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but also on lesser known ones ( Doct A beautifully presented coffee table book dedicated to the recently deceased cartoonist Darwyn Cooke. This collection presents all of Cooke's DC Comics work that isn't readily available in trade format. For both completists and interested newcomers to his work alike, this simply is a no-brainer. What you get here is more than worth it: not only does it contain a plethora of stories on famous DC characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but also on lesser known ones ( Doctor Fate, Jonah Hex, The Shade, etc..). At the end, there is a generous gallery of Cooke's gorgeous two-page spreads. This kind of retro art will never get old. Still can't believe the man is gone. Such an enormous loss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    If beautifully produced books, especially books containing fantastic comic art then "Graphic Ink" by Darwyn Cooke is a must have collection. Darwyn Cooke was an Eisner Award-winning writer/artist. There is a really nice introduction by Cooke that does give a little insight into the majority of the stories in the book. The book is a massive 400 plus pages of art and stories. Here is a Youtube video flip through of the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVSHL... And here is an interview with Darwyn If beautifully produced books, especially books containing fantastic comic art then "Graphic Ink" by Darwyn Cooke is a must have collection. Darwyn Cooke was an Eisner Award-winning writer/artist. There is a really nice introduction by Cooke that does give a little insight into the majority of the stories in the book. The book is a massive 400 plus pages of art and stories. Here is a Youtube video flip through of the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVSHL... And here is an interview with Darwyn for iFanboy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM4ML... We sadly lost Darwyn Cook recently. A horrible, horrible loss. This book is highly recomended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael Emond

    I'm a huge Darwyn fan and this collection was perfect for me since I only get collected editions now and most of the stuff in this has never appeared in collections I have bought before. I'm going to end with a list of the stories collected in the book since people shouldn't buy it sight unseen. The only double up I had was his stuff from Solo - since I got that trippy collection a couple of years ago (mainly foe the Darwyn part - but I enjoyed a lot of it). All in all it is Darwyn - if you appr I'm a huge Darwyn fan and this collection was perfect for me since I only get collected editions now and most of the stuff in this has never appeared in collections I have bought before. I'm going to end with a list of the stories collected in the book since people shouldn't buy it sight unseen. The only double up I had was his stuff from Solo - since I got that trippy collection a couple of years ago (mainly foe the Darwyn part - but I enjoyed a lot of it). All in all it is Darwyn - if you appreciate his minimalist cartoon art then you'll love this collection. The stories, for the most part are all solid - no jaw dropping classics in terms of stories but almost all are enjoyable reads. My favs were the Jonah Hex stories. Never collected Hex but I enjoy the character. Okay, the stories in the collection (as well as a lot of cover art): Private Eye (1985) - this predates Cooke's real foray into comics by over a decade. Not the Darwyn we have come to love but neat to see. A Change in Climate (Legion Worlds 2) - weak story Here Be Monsters (Batman: Gotham Nights 2) - beautiful Black and White Batman story On the Street: A Stan Lee reimagining Catwoman - odd story Doctor Fate (JLA All Stars 3) - wow - a perfect homage to early Fate stories The New Frontier Special: Not included in all New Frontier collections and a wonderful must have The Phantom Quarterback: (DC Presents 1) Stan lee doing an old timey Superman story. Fun but forgettable Solo #5: A lot of great stuff in here Flight (Green Lantern Secret Files and Origins) : three periods of Hal Jordan's life. Neat how Darwyn tries to copy the art from those three stages - Gil Kane and Neal Adams - his Neal Adams imitation does leave something to be desired :) Cousin Walter the Scientist - written by indy comic writer Harvey Pekar The Hunting Trip: Jonah Hex 33 (my fav of the collection) The Great Silence (Jonah Hex 50) Armistice Night (Weird war Tales 1) The Laws of Motion (House of Mystery 36) - yikes this was a stupid story with the lamest ending ever in the history of everything Times Past: 1944 (Shade 4) - also a fav of mine The Final Curtain (All Star Western 34) Another great Jonah Hex story Harley Quinn 0 and Harley Quinn Holiday Special

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Note/Clarification... On GoodReads I first saw the Kindle edition. I intended to add and review this hardcover version. What got me mixed up was the cover design. The hard version has this one is on the cover, and used the kindle version on its dust jacket. Another clarification is that I first found this in a bookstore before looking it up on GoodReads. "Oh wow" was the feeling I got when you didn't know such a compilation existed. The next reflex was to purchase. And whenever we wanted, my husb Note/Clarification... On GoodReads I first saw the Kindle edition. I intended to add and review this hardcover version. What got me mixed up was the cover design. The hard version has this one is on the cover, and used the kindle version on its dust jacket. Another clarification is that I first found this in a bookstore before looking it up on GoodReads. "Oh wow" was the feeling I got when you didn't know such a compilation existed. The next reflex was to purchase. And whenever we wanted, my husband and I can admire the stories, colors, prints and all.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lenny

    Darwyn Cooke is at the very top of my all time favorite comic book creators. As I began to find an interest in superheroes, I didn’t realize that Cooke was behind most of my favorite things – he designed the opening title to Batman Beyond, wrote several of my favorite Justice League episodes, and once I started reading DC comics, his masterpieces Batman: Ego, Justice League: New Frontier, and Superman: Kryptonite were among my very favorites. Eventually I connected the dots and realized that not Darwyn Cooke is at the very top of my all time favorite comic book creators. As I began to find an interest in superheroes, I didn’t realize that Cooke was behind most of my favorite things – he designed the opening title to Batman Beyond, wrote several of my favorite Justice League episodes, and once I started reading DC comics, his masterpieces Batman: Ego, Justice League: New Frontier, and Superman: Kryptonite were among my very favorites. Eventually I connected the dots and realized that not only was Darwyn Cooke my favorite creator, but he was also an artistic and writing genius, a truly special and gifted giant of the comic books world who has never – and will never – be replaced. I am sure a person with deeper artistic and writing knowledge can tell you why he’s an absolute genius. But as a fan, I can tell you that I love his simple, graceful style with thick brushstrokes and a noir, retro, almost 50’s feel; how he isn’t afraid to shy away from the loneliness and the dark underbelly of superhero storytelling; his ability to play with shape and color; his use of wordless panels; how he can create a laugh, a nostalgic sigh, or a poignant moment in an expression or posture scene. Over the years I’ve come to also love how he revitalized Will Eisner’s The Spirit (no offense to Eisner, but that character was made for Darwyn Cooke); his books adapting Richard Stark’s Parker, a must for any noir fan, and some of his other lesser known works. Graphic Ink is not meant to be a “best of” collection, even though it includes some great stories from the big DC heroes including a Justice League story based on his New Frontier masterpiece, Green Lantern, Batman, and Superman, along with some of his lesser known stories from Doctor Fate, Jonah Hex, and even Looney Tunes. This is best understood as an anthology of some of Cooke’s unpublished work (including his very first DC story which he wrote and illustrated at only 20 years old!), which will make this a must for Cooke collectors, and interspersed are at least a hundred of his covers and full page spreads over the years. Thankfully the comic titles and publishing information are removed from the covers so we can fully enjoy Cooke’s artwork. This photo is thanks to Wing’s Art! As a fan, this is a treasure trove, especially if you take the extra ten dollars to invest in the larger version – I’m a loon so I have both, and trust me, the coffee book edition is worth it if you love his art. The collection showcases the range of Cooke’s talent and his influence on the comic book world. The covers in particular show how Cooke was able to create a scene and evoke wonder and feeling with only a few colors and brushstrokes. That might be the best way to describe Cooke’s work: wonder. And while you might think that his artwork surpasses his writing, prepare to be delightfully mistaken. Cooke seemed to be able to peer right into the soul of these characters, whether it was analyzing Batman and Bruce Wayne as a sort of bipolar thought experiment in Ego; Selina’s determination and unapologetic sass in Big Score; and Clark Kent’s essential goodness and loneliness in just about every one of his Superman stories. I would need some serious convincing to pick up a Jonah Hex story, but this one by Cooke had me riveted, and it was a dark and heartbreaking tale. Cooke could take any character, literally any character, and make them shine. I was also very pleased to see a few issues with Cooke’s original character, King Faraday (yes it’s meant to be a pun), who isn’t very prominent in DC but was still a phenomenal character – you’ll meet him in Frontier as well as a few Justice League episodes. Unfortunately, DC missed the boat in several respects with this collection. While there is a nice forward by Cooke, in which he wrote a few sentences about each of the collected issues, there is no focus on Cooke’s biography save for a short “about the author” at the end, nor are there any behind the scenes photos of his artistic and writing process. While of course we can celebrate Cooke’s final product and the incredible amount of work he contributed to DC, this collection doesn’t pay any attention to the man behind it and how the work came to life. This would have been especially interesting since in many cases, Cooke was both writer and artist. Some would say that this collection was meant to be an art book and solely focus on Cooke’s artwork, but if that were the case, DC would have cared a little bit more about what they were doing. It was maddening that many of the full page spreads were left to the back of the book, and at 400+ pages, the binding covers up at least an inch of the center of these pages. This is a HUGE loss, since the focal point of many of those spreads are in the center and therefore the impact of the art is completely lost. (Cooke fans, I want to make a New Frontier joke right now. It’s there, I’m aware of it, so are you, thank you very much.) Here are some examples. Below you’ll see a picture of a cover and my photo of what it looks like in the book. These are part of a “DC Stands for Darwyn Cooke” celebration in December 2014, in which all 23 of their comics had variant covers drawn by Darwyn – see them all here – and they are all collected in the book as well. (I’m sure people were disappointed when they picked up these variants and realized the issue wasn’t also by him!) This is Batman & Robin #37: Green Lantern #37: Batman/Superman #37, probably the worst of all of them: And Justice League #37, look at Martian Manhunter in the middle: This is such an unfortunate part of the book, because this art is absolutely tremendous, some of the best I’ve seen (nope not biased at all), and could have been easily solved if these covers were just in the middle of the book. C’mon, DC. You publish art all. The. Time. Darwyn Cooke died two years ago (May 2016), a tremendous loss to the comic book industry and a tragic loss for his family as well. Along with all the #ComicsGate crap going on, some dogshit asshole (nope not biased at all) decided to try to tarnish Cooke’s memory and suggest he would take their side. It only takes a moment to see his art and read his stories (especially those highlighting Selina, Jon Stewart and other minority characters) and know that Darwyn Cooke knew, better than most of us, the power and beauty of superheroes, and he would never have taken that side. If you’re a fan of DC comics, and of comic books in general, Darwyn Cooke’s work is 100% worth your time. I highly recommend DC: The New Frontier, Batman: Ego, Superman: Kryptonite, Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score, and his critically acclaimed adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter. This book is a fantastic introduction to Cooke’s legacy, and absolutely worth the $40 or so for the coffee table book which, aside from the covers at the end, beautifully showcase his work. I would love to see another coffee table book that highlights his process, interviews with family and colleagues, and celebrates the creator who I’m sure was a wonderful person and also gave so much to me personally as a fan and to comic books as a whole. For more reviews please check out my blog, Reading Art!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Devi

    It can be difficult to create a sampler collection like this that appeals to both hardcore fans and newbies. After all, Darwyn Cooke fans have probably read his most famous stuff, while if you don't get enough of the good stuff, newcomers will wonder what the big deal is. Thankfully, this collection is spot-on. The sample here is phenomenal. You get stuff from his earliest works, pieces of The New Frontier that didn't show up in the collections (the ones I read, at least), Jonah Hex stories, Gree It can be difficult to create a sampler collection like this that appeals to both hardcore fans and newbies. After all, Darwyn Cooke fans have probably read his most famous stuff, while if you don't get enough of the good stuff, newcomers will wonder what the big deal is. Thankfully, this collection is spot-on. The sample here is phenomenal. You get stuff from his earliest works, pieces of The New Frontier that didn't show up in the collections (the ones I read, at least), Jonah Hex stories, Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, and even a page from Looney Tunes. The writers he worked with is staggering: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Geoff Johns, Harvey Pekar (!), Stan Lee (!!! doing Superman, no less), and even his own, original works. But it's his artwork that ties this collection together. Quite simply, his style never gets old. Bold, expressive, fun art that can just as easily switch to dark and shadowy. And the many, MANY covers he's done that are put throughout is genius. You get a perfect chronological look at his artwork, the evolutions in his rise to comics legend that ends with his own variant cover month that captures DC's finest at their best. The one unfortunate problem with this collection is Cooke's introduction that explains backstory about some of the comics. The oversized format works perfectly for the comics, but somebody seems to have forgotten to make sure the intro would look good because it's near unreadable. Seriously, it's at the level where you need a magnifying glass or some aspirin in order to read it. Even with that small problem, this collection isn't just a must-have but a must-keep. I can see myself re-reading the stories or just browsing the gorgeous artwork for years to come. A great collection for any comics fan.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diz

    This is a really beautiful book. It includes short comics, one-shots, and cover illustrations by comic artist Darwyn Cooke. The pages are larger than standard comic pages, so you get to see these great pieces up close. Fans of Darwyn Cooke should have a copy of this in their libraries.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura I.

    Oh man I want to buy this gorgeous hardcover and have it on my coffee table forever and ever now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pturingan

    I'd give this book 100 stars if possible. The late great Darwyn Cooke is my absolute favorite comic book artist so I'm biased. My wife knows this and she likes his art too and she gave me with this book as a gift a couple of years ago and it is in a treasured space among art books on our bookshelf.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Scott Stelter

    Cooke might just be my favorite comic artist, for what that's worth.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Frédéric

    Sumptuous coffee table book collecting bits and stuff Darwyn Cooke did for DC over the years. I don't think there's much unpublished stuff but hard to collect at the very least. And it's all there. The book covers a wide range of stories and characters, illustrations, covers, double pages and whatnots. The whole lot ranges from good-some short stories are not mind-blowing plotwise- to simply amazing, demonstrating once again how talented Darwyn was. If like me you're a fan of Darwyn Cooke, one of Sumptuous coffee table book collecting bits and stuff Darwyn Cooke did for DC over the years. I don't think there's much unpublished stuff but hard to collect at the very least. And it's all there. The book covers a wide range of stories and characters, illustrations, covers, double pages and whatnots. The whole lot ranges from good-some short stories are not mind-blowing plotwise- to simply amazing, demonstrating once again how talented Darwyn was. If like me you're a fan of Darwyn Cooke, one of the greatest artists of the last 2 decades, you simply cannot miss this one. I mean it. You can't.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    It's always hard for me to write reviews of these kinds of books, they're almost always a no-brainer. If you like Darwyn Cooke's art then you'll want to pick this up. Aside from getting a nice collection of his covers, and other miscellaneous art, it also has several issues of comics that haven't been collected before now, at least as far as I'm aware. If you like big beautiful collections and you're a fan of Darwyn Cooke's art then this is for you. Even if you've collected all of his previous tra It's always hard for me to write reviews of these kinds of books, they're almost always a no-brainer. If you like Darwyn Cooke's art then you'll want to pick this up. Aside from getting a nice collection of his covers, and other miscellaneous art, it also has several issues of comics that haven't been collected before now, at least as far as I'm aware. If you like big beautiful collections and you're a fan of Darwyn Cooke's art then this is for you. Even if you've collected all of his previous trade paperbacks, there's no doubt something new for you to see.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hasbrouck

    A wonderful overview of the work of the late Darwyn Cooke. In this volume are excepts from his classic New Frontier series, three entire Jonah Hex stories, a personal favorite-his artwork for the SHADE mini-series, so much more. For fans this is a treasure trove of a great artist and to new readers a introduction to man who has left us to soon. Thanks Mr. Cooke

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    Darwyn Cooke is easily my favorite artist who's ever worked for DC. And this book has a fantastic assortment of his work, some of which I hadn't seen before. There's chunks of his Batman stories, some one page Looney Tunes gags, the weird What If Stan Lee Wrote The DC Universe Catwoman story, some New Frontier sections. There is a varying degree of writing between the snippets of work in this collection, but the art is all five stars. It contains all the covers Cooke did for every iteration of Ne Darwyn Cooke is easily my favorite artist who's ever worked for DC. And this book has a fantastic assortment of his work, some of which I hadn't seen before. There's chunks of his Batman stories, some one page Looney Tunes gags, the weird What If Stan Lee Wrote The DC Universe Catwoman story, some New Frontier sections. There is a varying degree of writing between the snippets of work in this collection, but the art is all five stars. It contains all the covers Cooke did for every iteration of New Frontier, the covers from his Catwoman run, pin-up pages, just really everything you want from his time at DC. It makes me want to hunt down some of his original art to hang on my wall. I recommend this to really anyone, but mainly to fans of nostalgic DC art, fans of pop art, people who loved Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter but aren't too sure about mainstream superhero art, and also, well, anyone really.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Punkie

    4 1/2 stars The world is a sadder place without the promise of any new art by Darwyn Cooke. My personal favorite of all of DC comics artists, Cooke wasn't only brilliant because of his bold and beautiful artwork, but because he was able to visually communicate an entire story in each panel he drew. This book is a wonderful collection of his work, a little heavy on the Jonah Hex content for my tastes, but wonderful all the same. Whether you're a fan of superhero comics or not, this is a must for a 4 1/2 stars The world is a sadder place without the promise of any new art by Darwyn Cooke. My personal favorite of all of DC comics artists, Cooke wasn't only brilliant because of his bold and beautiful artwork, but because he was able to visually communicate an entire story in each panel he drew. This book is a wonderful collection of his work, a little heavy on the Jonah Hex content for my tastes, but wonderful all the same. Whether you're a fan of superhero comics or not, this is a must for any art collection.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Great collection of pieces by one of the greatest to work in comics. Collects a couple single issue stories, all of Cooke's short works, and most of his covers for DC (I think it's only missing a couple that came out just before his death). Cooke's introduction provides some commentary on several of the stories, although I wish there was more of this throughout the book. It's a beautiful reproduction, though, and a worthy collection of Cooke's always incredible art.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Guzman

    One of my all-time favorite artists who's artistic talents are heavily influence from his work in the animation industry. He takes iconic DC characters and gives them a pulpy "golden age" feel. This book collects DC one shot stories and other rarities that are not collected in other books. I really fell in love with his work and I always looked forward to anything new by him. He will surely be missed. Highly Recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    VL

    Not my favorite of these but I do love the art

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hamish

    Delightful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Beatrix Tung

    will always be a fan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steve Franco

    A few months ago, one of my favorite creators, Darwyn Cooke departed this world to be among his peers like Jack Kirby, Gardner Fox, Bob Kane, and Michael Turner. Graphic Ink, while not showing all of his works, reprints some of his favorite pieces, including his work on Solo (of which he won an Eisner for). Reading this tome, I was reminded of how much I loved his retro style, especially on The Spirit and The New Frontier. I will miss his style, but as long as there are comic book readers, Darwyn A few months ago, one of my favorite creators, Darwyn Cooke departed this world to be among his peers like Jack Kirby, Gardner Fox, Bob Kane, and Michael Turner. Graphic Ink, while not showing all of his works, reprints some of his favorite pieces, including his work on Solo (of which he won an Eisner for). Reading this tome, I was reminded of how much I loved his retro style, especially on The Spirit and The New Frontier. I will miss his style, but as long as there are comic book readers, Darwyn Cooke will never be forgotten.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

    Still haven't digged into it yet but it's without a doubt one of the most beautiful looking books in my collection. The DJ, the front and back covers, the endpages, everything is beautifully illustrated in huge coffee table sized glory.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jefferson

    This is an absolutely beautiful book. It collects a ton of single issues and cover art Darwyn Cooke has done over the years that hasn't been collected elsewhere. Essential for Cooke fans and anyone who appreciates excellent comics work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jonathon Place

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sunhill

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dean

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jackie (Jacademic)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dnxn

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